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Upright Piano Advice #2896326 10/02/19 03:00 AM
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tudor33sud Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

I am considering an upright piano for my future home. I was thinking that I should fit a grand piano in there, but I'm now thinking that it would occupy too much space, and I don't have that much space in there. Considering these things, I managed to test last year a Yamaha U3 ( which wasn't to my liking, action seemed kinda heavy, and it was really hard for me to play piano on it).

Right now I discovered the new line of Kawai (especially K500/600) and I am considering to get to try one of those, currently I can only watch youtube videos of it because I cannot find any Kawai dealer where I live in Romania... However, I got to play a Bechstein A124 (I googled it and it seems to be a lower tier model than the usual C Bechstein ) and I remember how pleasant I found the sound and the overall playing of it. I was drawn back a little bit because of its higher price, but now I think it might worth waiting for some time and get the Bechstein.

Does anyone have some experience with Kawai and Bechsteins so that I could get some honest oppinions about them? Kawai are more convenient in terms of price, but I know that I am pretty picky about piano sound, so I would like to have a pleasant piano like sound. Do Bechsteins worth the extra penny? I can't seem to find detailed specs about their action as for the other competitors, or key length etc, but I assume those are premium like the price? I am also concerned if Bechsteins would hold tuning as well as Kawai / Yamaha.

PS: does anyone know if Bechstein has a practice pedal? I didn't find any information about it, and I would be pretty interested. I don't think I want to spend money on the silent system, and a practice pedal would work for me to keep it quietly.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by tudor33sud; 10/02/19 03:04 AM.

www.youtube.com/channel/UC073i6RnxK4NcnoFp1jYh7Q The place where I ocasionally post my amateur recordings smile
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Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896361 10/02/19 07:33 AM
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Good luck finding the right piano!

I wonder though how you came to this decision since you've only had your LX708 for 9 months. In fact, you had even commented how you thought you would keep it 10 years. Is the sound that bad for you?


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Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896362 10/02/19 07:34 AM
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You are really the only one to judge when it comes to sound.

Personally i don't really like the sound of Kawai uprights, but lots of people do.

What's your experience with acoustic piano's? I had none before my U3, and also thought the action was heavy and hard to control at first. Now i got used to it and think it's great.

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896363 10/02/19 07:36 AM
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The Bechstein is a significantly superior piano when compared to the Kawai. Only you can answer the question of if it is worth the difference in price.

I believe the Bechstein has sostenuto. If so, it would not have a mute pedal, however your piano tuner can install a mute rail at 1/10th the price of a silent system.


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Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2896369 10/02/19 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Good luck finding the right piano!

I wonder though how you came to this decision since you've only had your LX708 for 9 months. In fact, you had even commented how you thought you would keep it 10 years. Is the sound that bad for you?

Thank you very much! Well there s a multitude of things. I had the chance to play on some acoustics, and I just like the feeling more, and the sound coming from the instrument it s much more pleasing to my ears. Usually in digitals I seem to find the sound muddier and the notes just do not blend as fine as on an acoustic. On top of that, I am fascinated of seeing hammers moving on uprights when you get the front down.

I notice that with digitals you are always looking for the next generation, always interested about latest features. However, if you have the real deal in your home, there s no point in looking more at the market and you get to just sing and be happy with your instrument. Of course, this comes with a cost, but if you find an instrument with the right sound for you, then it should be the end of the story. The only thing that i am concerned is to find an upright with the right balance of sound, and Bechstein sounded the most as a piano, so maybe it will do the trick.


www.youtube.com/channel/UC073i6RnxK4NcnoFp1jYh7Q The place where I ocasionally post my amateur recordings smile
Criticism is welcomed since it helps improving and going forward!

Yamaha P-105 -> Roland HP-605 -> Roland LX708
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896383 10/02/19 08:04 AM
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FWIW, I am very much enjoying my new-to-me Kawai K-50 (I believe a predecessor to the K300/500 series).

I recently went acoustic after having a Roland FP-30 and then a Yamaha NU1X for just the reasons you describe. I can tell you that I was a little reluctant to have an acoustic, but practicing early or late is not a problem with the practice pedal. I love the sense of control (or lack of it, in my case!) of dynamics, and it is just a pleasure to play. It sounds like it would sustain forever!

I think you'll enjoy whichever piano you choose.

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: pathguy] #2896391 10/02/19 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pathguy
FWIW, I am very much enjoying my new-to-me Kawai K-50 (I believe a predecessor to the K300/500 series).

I recently went acoustic after having a Roland FP-30 and then a Yamaha NU1X for just the reasons you describe. I can tell you that I was a little reluctant to have an acoustic, but practicing early or late is not a problem with the practice pedal. I love the sense of control (or lack of it, in my case!) of dynamics, and it is just a pleasure to play. It sounds like it would sustain forever!

I think you'll enjoy whichever piano you choose.


I am really glad to find that from you! Only if I could test a Kawai in person, probably in some holiday in a big city. Unfortunately, I was surprised that I didn t like the Yamaha U3.. I don t know maybe I was just too nervous. In stores sometime you are just too excited and not able to think properly and be careful to all the details. I always feel stressed out that I shouldn t stay too long...


www.youtube.com/channel/UC073i6RnxK4NcnoFp1jYh7Q The place where I ocasionally post my amateur recordings smile
Criticism is welcomed since it helps improving and going forward!

Yamaha P-105 -> Roland HP-605 -> Roland LX708
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896416 10/02/19 09:47 AM
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I love my K5, which was the prior model to the K500. The sound is crisp but not too bright or brittle and to me is warm and full without having a muffled type of sound. I also love the action. The Millennium III action enables wonderful dynamic control. It's very smooth. You owe it to yourself to go try it out.

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896420 10/02/19 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tudor33sud
Originally Posted by pathguy
FWIW, I am very much enjoying my new-to-me Kawai K-50 (I believe a predecessor to the K300/500 series).

I recently went acoustic after having a Roland FP-30 and then a Yamaha NU1X for just the reasons you describe. I can tell you that I was a little reluctant to have an acoustic, but practicing early or late is not a problem with the practice pedal. I love the sense of control (or lack of it, in my case!) of dynamics, and it is just a pleasure to play. It sounds like it would sustain forever!

I think you'll enjoy whichever piano you choose.


I am really glad to find that from you! Only if I could test a Kawai in person, probably in some holiday in a big city. Unfortunately, I was surprised that I didn t like the Yamaha U3.. I don t know maybe I was just too nervous. In stores sometime you are just too excited and not able to think properly and be careful to all the details. I always feel stressed out that I shouldn t stay too long...


I think the more you test out pianos, the less self-conscious you become. I was very, very timid at first when trying out acoustics, but YOU are the one spending the money, so you must make the best decision for you.

I honestly didn't consider a Kawai acoustic (no one near me sells them), but this one came in from an elderly couple and was in awesome shape. I played it and...now it's in my home! You never know what you might find, so wait until you feel it's the right one.

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: pathguy] #2896424 10/02/19 10:31 AM
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So true pathguy. Originally I had my mind set on a U1. I knew it was such a popular model. When I went shopping, I found them to be too bright for my ears. I was searching for a used piano, which made it even worse since most people don't voice and regulate regularly, but even the new ones I came across weren't for me. I found my K5 mixed in with a bunch of U1's and U3's. I had never heard of the model but as soon as I played, it spoke to me. I loved the tone and feel. I enjoy playing and hearing it very much.

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: RayR3004] #2896439 10/02/19 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RayR3004
So true pathguy. Originally I had my mind set on a U1. I knew it was such a popular model. When I went shopping, I found them to be too bright for my ears. I was searching for a used piano, which made it even worse since most people don't voice and regulate regularly, but even the new ones I came across weren't for me. I found my K5 mixed in with a bunch of U1's and U3's. I had never heard of the model but as soon as I played, it spoke to me. I loved the tone and feel. I enjoy playing and hearing it very much.

There's something about a piano that speaks to you!

The K-5 looks lovely!

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896498 10/02/19 02:32 PM
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The C Bechstein is arguanbly the best upright on the planet. Get one if you can, you will never regret it.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: PhilipInChina] #2896521 10/02/19 03:34 PM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
The C Bechstein is arguanbly the best upright on the planet. Get one if you can, you will never regret it.

I agree Bechstein pianos are excellent ! Nowdays all Bechstein uprights are labeled as C Bechstein.However just the very top series used to use the C.
The Bechstein A124 you are looking is equal to the C Bechstein A124.(newer pianos)
I agree the Academy is still a very high level instrument.
You can read all about Bechstein pianos and prices (US$)here-

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/bechstein-c/

Last edited by Lady Bird; 10/02/19 03:36 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896526 10/02/19 03:54 PM
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The K300 , K500 (Kawai )and the U1 and U3 pianos are
very good instruments ,pianos that last and have real
musical qualities ,but are not on the same level as a
Bechstein A124 .
However ,one chooses what one likes the best and what suits
ones budget.
I decided on a regular model Sauter 130 because I loved
the tone,resonance (of tone)and the action !
I could not have afforded a MC Sauter ,but at that price, I
just may have decided on the C Bechstein Concert 8 ?
Who knows ?
Later when I tried a Masterclass 130 in Europe, I in fact thought yes
excellent, but sorry I still prefer my piano? I did prefer the
C Bechstein Concert 8.But NO not at that price !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 10/02/19 04:00 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896592 10/03/19 01:01 AM
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tudor33sud Offline OP
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Well, I guess I ll need to setup some travel this year or next year so that I would be able to play these instruments. It s a shame I cannot do this here, but it is how it is.

May I ask you upright owners how often do you tune your piano? I am a casual player I don t play more than 1 hour a day, and I was wondering if 2 tunings per year will suffice. I never had am acoustic, so I don t know all the costs and maintainance operations.


www.youtube.com/channel/UC073i6RnxK4NcnoFp1jYh7Q The place where I ocasionally post my amateur recordings smile
Criticism is welcomed since it helps improving and going forward!

Yamaha P-105 -> Roland HP-605 -> Roland LX708
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896594 10/03/19 01:13 AM
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2 tunings a year are best recommended.If you.get the floor model in the dealer, it will already have had a few tunings and touch up regulations, so this is recommended.
A brand new piano from the warehouse will need about 3 a year.The strings need to stretch on
on such a piano so will need more work done on it until. It settles down.

Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896663 10/03/19 07:19 AM
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Many have said that the C. Bechstein Concert 8 is the best upright piano ever made. Of course I am biased if I agree, for I have one. Truth is, I bought it many months before I even read about it in the forums, and I did it based exclusively on my impressions of its tone and touch. I almost could not believe that such an old instrument could play that way. Now, three years later, I am more than convinced that his reputation is very well deserved.

I have had Steinway, Kawai, Halben and Essenfelder uprights. And in my process of buying, I tried at least two dozens of different uprights in various sizes, makes and ages. Nothing compares to it, not even close! Actually, because of its ageing and hard use, and because I love it so much, I am having it restored (5/6 months work ahead). As soon as it gets back home, I will post some pics of it.

Besides, as Mr. Cohen said, I quote: "your piano tuner can install a mute rail at 1/10th the price of a silent system". My tuner did this to my piano (which has only two pedals). And it works perfectly, when I need to play after 10 pm.

Anyway, whatever piano you choose, if you do it with your heart, it will come out fine. Good luck!


Fluxo

Sauter V 182
C Bechstein 8
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: Fluxo] #2896667 10/03/19 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Flux


Besides, as Mr. Cohen said, I quote: "your piano tuner can install a mute rail at 1/10th the price of a silent system". My tuner did this to my piano (which has only two pedals). And it works perfectly, when I need to play after 10 pm.

Anyway, whatever piano you choose, if you do it with your heart, it will come out fine. Good luck!



Is the mute rail one with felt that drops between the hammers and strings?


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: tudor33sud] #2896674 10/03/19 08:04 AM
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In my case, yes. Wood support with a hanging felt.


Fluxo

Sauter V 182
C Bechstein 8
Re: Upright Piano Advice [Re: Fluxo] #2896697 10/03/19 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Flux
Many have said that the C. Bechstein Concert 8 is the best upright piano ever made. Of course I am biased if I agree, for I have one. Truth is, I bought it many months before I even read about it in the forums, and I did it based exclusively on my impressions of its tone and touch. I almost could not believe that such an old instrument could play that way. Now, three years later, I am more than convinced that his reputation is very well deserved.

I have had Steinway, Kawai, Halben and Essenfelder uprights. And in my process of buying, I tried at least two dozens of different uprights in various sizes, makes and ages. Nothing compares to it, not even close! Actually, because of its ageing and hard use, and because I love it so much, I am having it restored (5/6 months work ahead). As soon as it gets back home, I will post some pics of it.

Besides, as Mr. Cohen said, I quote: "your piano tuner can install a mute rail at 1/10th the price of a silent system". My tuner did this to my piano (which has only two pedals). And it works perfectly, when I need to play after 10 pm.

Anyway, whatever piano you choose, if you do it with your heart, it will come out fine. Good luck!


That must have costed a fortune! I only saw some videos of it, and it's amazing how if you close your eyes you kinda feel the sound of a grand... I don't know how they do it, even in the Academy bechstein that I played I liked the sound a lot. I remember when I was in Wien and I got to test a Bosendorfer upright as well ( after that I read that Bosendorfer also has one of the finest uprights in the world ) , but I kinda liked the Bechstein more smile
The truth is I can only afford something along the lines of 10 000 - 15 000 euros maximum, and I already know that this kind of money is insane for actually what my level of playing is. Anyway, we only have one life, and I always get tremendous satisfaction when I get to play a nice instrument, and the happiness that you would get, probably it's totally worth it ( more than a car or some other thing ).

I hope I will be able to find a Bechstein to play on it again in Romania, I've written to the two dealers from here, but I have to see if they have some place where you could test it. In romania you can buy whatever piano you like, but it seems like there's no way you will find one to try, which is a pity. How would I order an expensive instrument if I am only able to watch videos of it?...


www.youtube.com/channel/UC073i6RnxK4NcnoFp1jYh7Q The place where I ocasionally post my amateur recordings smile
Criticism is welcomed since it helps improving and going forward!

Yamaha P-105 -> Roland HP-605 -> Roland LX708
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